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Bruckner Symphony No. 5 – Günter Wand

From the start of this thrilling and majestic live performance, we know that we are in far fine fettle. My initial and continuing assessment is that Günter Wänd’s Bruckner Fifth for RCA Victor Red Seal belongs to the upper echelons of Bruckner Fifths.

The first measures stretch with emotion, almost like a dirge or church hymn. Particularly appealing are the string tremolos that anticipate the main theme and are fraught with emotion. And it’s this emotion that unlocks the measure of the riddle of this symphony, for the greatest moments in Bruckner’s music are private and internal — the mindscape of a deeply spiritual man almost medieval by nature and out of step with his times. Continue reading

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